Cars being driven in violation of the odd-even formula will not be seized but the errant drivers will be fined Rs 2,000. The catch -- the penalty can be slapped only once in a day.
The Delhi Police had asked the government for powers to impound vehicles violating the road-rationing plan but city’s top police officer BS Bassi and transport minister Gopal Rai, who together spoke to the told media on Tuesday, said action would be restricted to a fine and there was no plan to confiscate vehicles.
“After being fined, the driver will be advised to go home,” Bassi said. “If the driver continues his journey, he will be stopped by police.”
The two men, who have taken on each other in the last few days, met for an hour on Tuesday, three days before driving restrictions that will keep half of the city’s private cars off the road come into play.
The government seems to have climbed down on fielding volunteers during the drive that begins on January 1. “We have assured the police that the civil defence personnel will assist the traffic police, SDM (sub-divisional magistrate) and the transport department officers,” Rai said.
The government would provide around 5,000-6,000 civil defence personnel to assist the police, said Bassi, who had on Sunday warned Aam Aadmi Party volunteers against vigilantism. Police also wrote to chief secretary KK Sharma, against vigilantism by volunteers.
On Wednesday afternoon, these personnel will be briefed by the traffic police at Chhatrasal Stadium and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is also expected to meet them.
Role of the civil defence personnel would be restricted to educating people and spreading awareness, Bassi told HT. They would not direct traffic or check drivers.
A trial run will be held for traffic police and civil defence personnel on December 31. They will report for duty on the spots they will man during the 15-day period and will be briefed on their responsibilities.
Civil defence personnel work under the Delhi disaster management authority, which reports to the Delhi divisional commissioner.
The transport commissioner and traffic police chief will jointly monitor the drive, a move that will ensure that the government and the force are on the same page.
The Delhi Police reports to the union home ministry and on several occasions, the Kejriwal government has accused the force of acting at the behest of the Centre.
The Delhi government was forced to take the radical step of allowing only odd-numbered cars on odd dates and even-numbered on even days as air pollution touched alarming levels. Vehicular emissions are one of the biggest contributors to the city’s toxic air, rated the worst in the world by WHO.